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UGC in the World of CPG

What fun! Nestlé Canada launched a great little interactive micro-site on July 17 where Canadians are invited to go online and redesign the iconic Smarties package.

The Gimme Colour contest invites Smarties fans to use the tools of the site to create a new design for the 50-gram box. Contestants can enter until December 12, after which time 10 winners will be selected (February 2008). Those 10 winning designs will be used on Smarties boxes throughout Canada.

I would love to see the results of this campaign — site usage, integration and more — as well as hear about how it all came to be. Perhaps Nestlé Canada marketing manager, Paul Hodges, could be enticed to come out to the next CaseCamp as a presenter…

Reflecting on Simon Smith’s recent One Degree post, Chasing the Dramatic Chipmunk, success in viral marketing almost always requires losing control. I admire the amount of design control Nestlé Canada is giving over to consumers through this campaign. It remains to be seen if it is enough for users of Smarties to take ownership and run with it.

As a side note, it is interesting to see conflicting acronyms emerge around the notion of generated content. For the tech-savvy, the tendency is to refer to ‘users’ of content and now ‘generators’ of content (UGC). Whereas the more traditional media seem to be promoting the notion of ‘consumer’ generated content (CGC) — more in line with the consumer packaged goods (CPG) phrase. Does that reflect a fundamental difference in approach? I hazard to say, yes.

Visit the site for full contest details:

One Comment

  1. Natasha
    Natasha July 20, 2007

    Err, they still make Smarties? Wonder if the taste will improve as much as the outer package is supposed to.
    They should stick with the jingle.

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